This mildly restyled model is based on the Toyota Corolla Hybrid Estate distinguished by Suzuki’s signature front design changes. It is manufactured in the UK (at Toyota’s plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire) with exports to Europe.

Inside story

The instrument panel, instrumentation, and infotainment features of the Swace are, as we would expect, not dissimilar to the Corolla. And just like the Corolla, the sense of cabin space is emphasised by the wide instrument panel with continuous lines that gently wraps around the door trim. It is covered with soft padding with chrome or silver accents here and there.

The Swace comes in two trim levels – SZ-T and SZ5. The entry-level SZ-T includes dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a seven-inch LCD colour screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto device connectivity, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, rear parking camera and dynamic radar cruise control. SZ5 adds smart door locking, park assistance, front and rear park distance sensors, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert and a smartphone wireless charging tray.

Another noteworthy interior feature is an S-Flow air conditioner system with occupant detection and ambient lighting throughout the cabin. It works by using a detection control function to ensure that air conditioning is only provided to occupied seats. It also takes the set temperature, ambient temperature, interior temperature and sunlight into account to maintain cabin comfort.

In the infotainment department, the Swace is equipped with an 8-inch multimedia audio system with DAB radio, Bluetooth function, and controls on the steering wheel for ease of use. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay for iPhone, as well as Android Auto and MirrorLink for compatible smartphones. Both the SZ-T and SZ5 models have two USB terminals and an AUX terminal on the centre console.

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Other creature comfort and convenience features include push engine start, heated wing mirrors, rear parking camera, guide me home lights, tyre pressure monitoring, two cupholders front and rear, and two bottle holders in the front and rear door bins.

Room in the front is generous thanks to the seats and steering wheel offering plenty of adjustment. Room in the back is also quite good with enough legroom to sear three adults comfortably although six-footers may find their heads brushing against the headliner. 

Further back, the boot offers 596-litre of luggage space. The load surface has a two-position (upper and lower) deck. This can be opened and closed in the upper position as if it were hinged from the rear seatbacks. It is also reversible, with carpet on one side and a resin finish on the other, suitable for use when carrying wet or dirty items. The rear seats can be flipped forward using a lever in the boot to liberate 1,232 litres of luggage space. The luggage area incorporates auto-illuminating lights and a DC12V accessory socket.

Advanced driver assistance systems

The Swace incorporates a suite of driver assistance technologies, including:

  • Simple-Intelligent Parking Assist – the chore of parking is eased thanks to a park assist system that uses a rear camera and sensors located around the sides and bumpers to identify viable reverse and parallel parking spaces.
  • Pre-Collision System – helps prevent collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists by monitoring the road ahead with millimetre-wave radar and monocular camera to apply braking assist and automatic braking if needed.
  • Brake Hold – when the vehicle comes to a stop such as at a traffic light, the electric parking brake holds the vehicle by maintaining braking pressure to prevent the vehicle from rolling forward or backward until the driver presses the accelerator pedal.
  • Lane Tracing Assist – when the system determines that an unintended lane departure is likely to occur on a Motorway or marked public road, it assists steering operation to keep the vehicle in the centre of the lane.

Other ADAS features include road sign assist, radar cruise control, eCall (that can alert the emergency services if the car is involved in a collision), rear crossing traffic alert and automatic high beam assistance.

On the road

The low bonnet line and location of the hybrid battery beneath the rear seats help give the car its low centre of gravity, reducing body roll around corners, improving stability and contributing to a smoother ride. The Swace comes with one engine – Toyota’s 1.8-litre petrol hybrid.  Three driving modes are provided – Normal, Eco and Sport. Normal mode balances ride comfort, stability and fuel economy. Eco mode is useful for stop-and-go town traffic. Sport mode controls the hybrid system to provide a quick and powerful acceleration depending on the driving situation.

On balance, the Suzuki Swace felt quiet and poised at every turn. It is also economical. Officially, the 1.8-litre petrol hybrid will achieve 64 mpg. Our run-about this week, mostly involving a gentle, steady cruise along dual carriageways and country roads, achieved close to that headline. Rival estate models include the SEAT Leon, Skoda Octavia and Ford Focus.